Topic: Andrea Yates report


On June 20, 2001 after Andrea Yates systematically murdered her five children she called the police to report the crime. In less than an hour that morning, she drowned her five children in a bathtub in her home. The children ranged from 7 years old to 6 months old.

Authorities who responded to the scene described Yates as unemotional, unkempt, and soaking wet. One officer testified that she appeared “worn out” from drowning her children. The responding officers were deeply affected.

Andrea Yates was diagnosed with severe postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis and had been taking twice the recommended dose of the antidepressant Effexor. She had a history of suicide attempts and hospitalizations, and her psychiatrist had recommended that she and her husband have no further children and that she not be left alone with her kids.

Compounding her problems were certain fundamentalist religious beliefs that led her to believe she and her children were evil and doomed to perish in the fires of Hell.

This link will give you some historical information about the case.

Profile of Andrea Yates – (Links to an external site.)

Emergency Responders are trained to handle different types of life-threatening situations they may be called to but no one could possibly vision a crime scene such as this. Upon arrival and without even knowing her medical history there is no doubt that Andrea Yates is homicidal.

What are some of the major problems police officer’s face when responding to calls involving mental illness?
When implementing the De-Escalation Techniques explain the steps you would take in order to approach and arrest Andrea Yates?

Do you think that the devastating nature of this crime scene would affect the decision making skills of the first responders, which would have an impact on their ethical approach to this heinous crime? Please explain your answer.

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